Alexis, perhaps parodying his one-man show, scored two unassisted goals, each from horrendous Sunderland errors, to deliver a win that was much tighter than the scoreline suggests. Vito Mannone reprised his nightmarish performance of a week ago, muffing a clearance that Alexis tucked home in extra time—Arsenal's seventh such goal of the season, but the first one that didn't change the outcome of the match. There's something in this one for everyone: a win and a clean-sheet for the optimists, a lucky couple of goals against an overmatched side for the pessimists. Either way, three points collected. Have a gander at the highlights below...
25 October 2014
24 October 2014
What a waste of money. He's been nicking a living for some time now, What's more, he's starting to come across as a flat-track bully, what with his only goal and two assists coming against our weakest opponents to date (an assist in the 4-1 win over Galatasaray, a goal and and an assist in the 0-3 win over Villa, for those keeping score at home). A peek beyond those two performances suggests that Özil might be bred for finer (read: more-delicate) environs than the Prem. His style, his strengths, and his weaknesses may not be a good match for Arsenal or, for that matter, the Prem. For the right price, maybe we shouldsell him—just so long as we sell him at a profit and send him far, far away.
Labels: Mesut Özil
22 October 2014
After yet another dramatic, death-defying, last-minute positive result (we're counting draws as positive results these days, if only because there are so damned many of them), I've come to a startling, perhaps shocking realization. It's so stunningly simple that I'm surprised none of us have hit on it before. All the pieces fit. It all makes sense, if only in retrospect. Many of us can find no fault with Arsène: he's a purist and a paladin but a victim of darker, fiendish forces beyond his control. Just as many of us can find no virtue in the man: he's an anachronism bereft of new ideas and ossified to old ones. Somewhere 'twixt the two, however, lies the truth. That truth? Arsène is playing us all, even his opponents and nemeses, as patsies, as pawns in a much larger game. Even as I put these words to print, I can hear the hired goons tromping up the steps to silence me, but the truth must be told.
What is it with Arsenal? After conceding the match's first goal for the eighth time in 14 matches, Kieran Gibbs scored from a sumptuous Calum Chambers cross and Lukas Podolski scored our sixth stoppage-time goal to steal all three points from Anderlecht. I don't know which is worse, that we're so leaky so early or so determined so late. In either case, you can take in the highlights below; we'll take a deeper look at the how's and the why's later...
21 October 2014
There's no easy way to put this, Gooners, so I'll just go ahead and spell it out for you. We're doomed. There is simply now way that we will emerge from our trip to Anderlecht with anything but an embarrassing result. As all of the headlines of the last 24 hours have incontorvertibly explained, we'll have no choice but to play 17-year old Ryan Huddart at all eleven positions simultaneously, what with actual injuries to the likes of Ospina, Özil, Giroud, Sanogo, Koscielny, and Debuchy, plus imagined injuries to the likes of Wilshere, Walcott, Diaby, and Gnabry. Worse, we're facing off against the Chelsea of the Jupiler League: Anderlecht, like Chelsea, are undefeated in league play. By the law of transitive (or is it commutative?) properties, we have no choice but to lose ingloriously in Belgium.
20 October 2014
We finally return from a two-week interlull eager for some proper Arsenal action only to come away a bit deflated, if not depressed. Not only did we struggle to nick a point at home against Hull, most of our rivals found a way to seize all three in their respective matches. The race has gotten a bit more cluttered as Southampton continue to insist on not being ignored while Liverpool, Everton, and Man U register a pulse if not more. Finger-twitches they may be, but they're enough to remind us that there are still signs of life from Anfield, Goodison, and Old Trafford, and if we don't get our own house in order, things could get real messy real quick. On to the run-down...
19 October 2014
Call it a shock to the system. For as frustrating and as maddening as our performances have been to date, the draw with Hull seems like the first truly unacceptable one. Hear me out. For each previous draw (or loss), there has been some kind of extenuating circumstance to put the result in context, if only to rationalize if not justify it. The same just can't be said for the Hull result. If anything, it's more than we deserve while still being a shocker. We somehow kept a point—barely—thereby reducing the damage to our campaign while still suffering the kind of result that should jolt the squad from its torpor. Instead of lamenting our woeful state, there's a chance—however slim—to seize and run with.